Pursuing Multiple Goals under Time Pressure: A Computational Investigation
Many decisions we face daily entail deliberation about how to coordinate resources shared between multiple, competing goals. When time permits, people appear to approach multiple-goal pursuit problems rationally, integrating information analytically to arrive at a prioritisation decision. However, it is not yet clear if this normative strategy extends to situations characterised by limited deliberation time. We evaluated the question of how limited deliberation time affects goal prioritisation decisions using a gamified experimental task, which required participants to make a series of interdependent goal prioritisation decisions. We fit several candidate models to experimental data in order to identify decision strategy adaptations at the individual subject-level. Results indicated that participants tended to opt for a simple heuristic strategy that was reliant on goal deadlines when deliberation time was low. This suggests that deadlines became particularly salient for most participants at the expense of other relevant information when deliberation time was limited.
Cite this as:
Alister, M., Ballard, T., &